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Playoff hopes are destroyed, but the Broncos may still have a winning season

Denver may have their first winning record since 2016.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Now that that the Denver Broncos have officially been eliminated from the playoff picture, it’s easy to view the season as over - but it’s really not. Denver entered 2024 on a victory and with an 8-8 standing, Broncos have a chance to come out ahead next week with its first winning record since 2016.

A few of Denver’s players, including cornerback Patrick Surtain II, safety Justin Simmons, and lineman Mike Purcell, shared their own feelings about the possibility of this winning season when it was brought up in yesterday’s post-game press conference.

“It’s something to build off of,” Surtain shared, “Obviously, we know what type of team we are and we just got to keep going. Focus on how we could get better even though next week is our last week. But there is still room to improve.”

“Right now, our main goal is to finish the season off strong and head into next year,” he added.

Purcell described the elimination from postseason contention as “tough,” but he emphasized the importance of securing this last win.

“It’s tough but we have one more game so this one is about pride,” the lineman explained. “You have to take pride and go out there and play the game.”

Echoing Purcell, Justin Simmons pointed out the importance of ending the season on a “high note.”

Nine wins is a good thing. I think I was asked at some point ‘does a winning season mean anything?’ and I kind of pushed the question off to the side because I really wanted to go to the playoffs and that meant more,” he admitted, “But it’s not that a winning season doesn’t mean anything. I think it means a lot.”

Simmons described the disappointing start to their season that moved into a comeback that put the Broncos in the playoff discussions at all.

“I think it will be important to win this on a right note and then have that momentum carry into next season,” Simmons said.

While acknowledging the positives, Simmons didn’t brush over the frustration of the loss, either.

“It’s tough knowing that we’re not going to be going to the postseason. It’s why you play, and we were our own enemies in that regard,” he confessed, noting the chances they had to beat Washington, the Jets, and the Patriots at home; as well as the Texans on the road.

“We controlled our own destiny for the longest time, and it’s tough, but what a big win for us at home,” he said Sunday. “A sweep against the Chargers is huge and a chance for us next week to close out the season on a positive, going 9-8.”